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Winterizing Your Scooter
Overview
Those of us who live in areas of the world where we get winter need to do some maintenance prior to putting our scooters away. If you want your scooter to be in top notch condition when you start it again in the spring read further.
Gas
First you should fill your gas tank with fuel. This helps prevent condensation from occurring inside your gas tank and contaminating your fuel. Next, add fuel stabilizer (STA-BIL is one brand) to your gas tank in the quantity suggested on the label. This amount is determined by the volume of gas held by the tank, for STA-BIL one would add one oz. per 2.5 gallons of fuel. The addition of fuel stabilizer prevents your gas from degrading when it is sitting for more than 30 days. You should then ride your scooter for approximately 15-20 minutes. This ensures that your now stabilized fuel has worked its way throughout the fuel system of your scooter.
Tires
You should ensure that your tires fully inflated to the recommended pressures. Remember to rotate your front tire a small amount on a periodic basis. This will decrease the likelihood of the tire developing flat spots during storage. Some people suggest putting a piece of lumber underneath the front tire to keep it off the cold concrete while your scooter is stored, this can also help reduce the risk of flat spots.
Battery
Your battery is your next area of concern. Left unattended your battery will slowly drain if you are not riding your scooter on a regular basis. Starting your scooter for several minutes every few days during the winter is not sufficient to recharge your battery. The easiest way to maintain your battery's life is by putting your battery on a battery tender over the winter months. A battery tender (Battery Tender Jr. is one brand) is a battery charger that will charge and then maintain the charge on your battery without damaging it by overcharging. Your battery can be left in or taken out of your scooter depending on where you store your scooter.

If you store your scooter in a secure covered area you can leave your battery in your scooter. The leads for the tender should be attached such that the black lead (negative) of the tender is attached to the black terminal (negative) of the battery and red lead (positive) of the tender to the red terminal (positive) of the battery.

If you have no access to a garage with an electrical outlet for the battery tender, you will need to remove your battery from your scooter in order to attach it to the tender. When removing your battery ensure that your scooter is not running. This is also an opportunity to clean your battery and check its water level. If your battery has removable caps you need to add distilled water to maintain the water level. Take some time to clean the outside and bottom of your battery. As well, check the terminals and use a scraper and wire brush to remove dirt and corrosion. This will ensure proper contact. Next attach your battery tender's leads to the battery's terminals black to black (negative) and red to red (positive).
Unwanted Inhabitants
During the winter unwanted rodents may decide to take up residence in your pride and joy. There are a couple of tricks you can use to avoid finding mice in your pet carrier or exhaust. Mice apparently do not like Bounce, a sheet or two of Bounce in the pet carrier might keep them out. In order to keep rodents from entering your exhaust you might want to consider plugging the opening in the pipe with something such as a cork or insulation. If you do this, do something to remind yourself to remove it in the spring before trying to start your scooter again.
Avoiding Corrosion
Next you should wash your scooter thoroughly from top to bottom. Although this step isn't absolutely necessary, it will help decrease the chances of corrosion during the wintertime.

Finally, you may want to consider covering your scooter at this point to protect it from the elements, particularly if you are storing your scooter out in the open.
Springtime!
Once spring arrives your battery should be healthy and fully charged and ready to start your scooter.
Last Updated Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:59 pm
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